Kinston, Feb. 12, 2018 — Nearly 100 families in the Sand Hill area are safer because of a partnership between the American Red Cross and the Sand Hill Volunteer Fire Department to install smoke alarms in local homes.
Every day in the U.S., seven people lose their lives to a home fire, most often children and senior adults. The Sand Hill community knows this too well as they recently lost a resident to a tragic home fire. As a result, Sand Hill Fire Chief David Jones, and local resident, Charlie Broadway, a Red Cross volunteer, wanted to make homes in their community safer by joining together to install smoke alarms in homes.
Jones and Broadway planned to take advantage of the Red Cross nationwide Home Fires Campaign to save lives and help in the local area. After coordination and planning, the idea became a reality and on Feb. 10, 40 volunteers gathered for a day-long smoke alarm installation in the area.
The group included Red Cross volunteers from Onslow, Craven, Lenoir and Wayne Counties; Marines from Camp Lejeune and the Air Station; and local firefighters from the Sand Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
After being trained day-of, the volunteers divided into 11 small teams equipped with ladders, drills, and smoke alarms, and went into their assigned areas of the community to install alarms.
One resident, Curtis Moore, had smoke alarms, but they were old and did not work. He was most appreciative of the new installs and said, “I can’t believe there is no cost to me for this service. I am so thankful.”
By early afternoon, the teams installed 200 smoke alarms in 98 homes. Follow up information was left on the doors of residents who were not home.
Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Every household should create a fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes.
For additional information or steps on how to protect your family, contact your local Red Cross or go to www.RedCross.org.
NEED A SMOKE ALARM?
The Red Cross provides free smoke alarm installations. To request a free alarm, call your local Red Cross office, or visit http://www.soundthealarm.org/enc and fill out a request form.
Story and photos by Char Rodriguez / American Red Cross